Calling her delightfully eclectic new album The Rings of Saturn, Joanne Tatham – truly one of the L.A. jazz scene’s most engaging vocal treasures and enticing musical storytellers – primes us for a deep and transcendent listening experience, which she delivers in lush and often sweetly surprising ways.
Pairing once again with the sharp, intuitive ears of producer Mark Winkler, Tatham swings and dashes through percussive romps like “Love Me or Leave Me,” the frisky title track and the Winkler co-penned “Catch Me If You Can,” then shares the gentler whispers of her romantic soul on gorgeous renderings of Phoebe Snow’s “Poetry Man,” Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle” and the unique John Williams/Paul Williams collaboration “Nice to Be Around.”
It’s lovely to hear her pay homage to her old stomping grounds via Michael Franks’ “Summer in New York,” but it’s her scatting and samba’ing on the Jobim tunes that linger in the heart the longest. Now that she’s conquered the jazz version of outer space, could a full-on Brazilian album be next? Let’s hope so!